In Ancient Greek mythology there is a sea dragon called ketea (singular ketos).
They are amphibious and have two flippers instead of legs. They have sleek bodies with hides covered in barnacles, and a long, tapering tail with a sea-weed like end.
Ketea have a long, pointy snout, long ears, sharp horns on their heads, and small sharp teeth. Although they live in the ocean around Greece, they can also survive on land.
Ketea obey Poseidon, Greek god of the sea, and he sends them to punish people who have offended him. They are ravenous and can never get enough to eat!
If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find out more about dragons in The Dragon Companion: An Encyclopedia by Carole Wilkinson. All the facts in this post were taken from this book.
Some new books about dragons that you might like to read are:
The Dreadful Dragon by Kaye Umansky
Dragon Boogie by Erik Craddick
Fangbone!, third-grade barbarian by Michael Rex
How to Seize a Dragon’s Jewel by Cressida Cowell
Iron Hearted Violet by Kelly Regan Barnhill
Secrets of the Dragon World by S. A. Caldwell
Check out our scary new selection of non-fiction. After that you can relax reading about Lego or Music or just the wonder of our world in general. Have fun!
The werewolf hunter’s guide / Ursula Lestrade.
Over thousands of years and across hundreds of countries, tales and legends of dreadful creatures lurking in the night have terrified people. This guide has been slowly pieced together by expert werewolf hunter Ursula Lestrade and uncovers many secrets of these shape-shifting monsters. Arm yourself against the creatures of the night with this Werewolf Hunter’s Guide. (Book cover) There are three other scary books in this Monster Tracker Series; The Alien Hunter’s Guide, The Vampire Hunter’s Guide and The Ghost Hunter’s Guide. If you like freaky stuff then check them out.
Children’s book of music / Deborah Lock
This is a must read for anyone interested in music. Great photos and interesting text help you learn heaps about music from its very beginnings right up to contemporary artists like Lady Gaga.
Standing small : a celebration of 30 years of the Lego minifigure / Nevin Martell.
Find out all about your favourite LEGO characters. Do you have a Lego Ghost ? Maybe Lego Exo-Force is your favourite . Were you one of the first to get Lego Batman in 2006? Whatever your collection, you will have heaps of fun looking through this book.
Also new this month is The Lego Book. This is a larger more detailed book. Find out how the bricks are made as well as learning some secrets of the LEGO Master Builders. Lots of fun in these pages including current LEGO art creations. A must for every LEGO fan.
Starting school / Caryn Jenner & Arthur Robins.
This is a really good book for reading to your younger brother or sister who may be starting school. It is a fun book with great cartoony illustrations. It will remove any fears they may have about their new life and deals with everything from getting ready in the morning to those school toilets ,( even what to do if you don’t make it in time.)
Planet Earth / Daniel Gilpin.
There are ten wonderful books in this series. All have beautiful photographs and easy clear text so you can learn heaps fast. This book covers the whole planet in 32 pages! Check it out, especially if you are a younger reader.
In the Scandinavian countries Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, dragons are referred to as wurms, or lindwurms.
They have wings and two legs. Their bodies are 15 metres long, or more, and their two legs are not strong enough to support the entire weight of their bodies: so Scandinavian dragons drag their bodies along the ground, leaving a trail of slime and dead plants.
They have smooth, impenetrable hides, and soft, vulnerable underbellies. They have sharp talons as strong as iron.
They live in human burial mounds and abandoned buildings. They love to hoard treasure and can hibernate on top of a pile of treasure for many years.
Scandinavian dragons are intelligent and often capable of speech. They are also greedy and easily made angry. They breathe fire and inject venom with their fangs!
If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find out more about dragons in The Dragon Companion: An Encyclopedia by Carole Wilkinson. This is an adult book, but it is okay for kids to read too. All the facts in this post were taken from this book.
Books written for kids about dragons that you might like to read are:
The Dragon of Trelian by Michelle Knudsen
Fangs ‘n’ Fire by Chris Mould
The Book of Dragons by E. Nesbit
The Fire Series by Chris D’Lacey
The Dragons of Wayward Crescent by Chris D’Lacey
How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell
Rick Riordan author of the amazing Percy Jackson series is now writing about Ancient Egyptian mythology.
The first of The Kane Chronicles is The Red Pyramid. In which Carter and Sadie Kane discover who their parents really were, get slightly possessed by Isis and Horus (two Egyptian Gods) and have to save the world from being turned into burning chaos. Along the way they get to travel to London, Paris and New York, perform magic, indulge in some kick butt fight scenes, and hang out with a groovy knife wielding cat goddess. What is there not to love about a book like that?
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Dragons have been on postage stamps all over the world.
China’s first stamps appeared in 1878 and had dragons on them! They are known as “large dragon stamps” and are very rare. A miniature sheet of stamps was issued in 1988 to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the original dragon stamps.
Japan’s first postage stamp appeared in 1871 and also featured dragons!
In 1966 Germany issued a stamp with a mushussu dragon (a dragon that is part serpent, lion and eagle) from the Ishtar Gate, one of the entrances to the ancient city of Babylon.
In Britain a stamp was released in 1998 that had Bilbo, and Smaug the Golden Dragon, from The Hobbit. Regional stamps for use in Wales always feature the Welsh dragon emblem. Stamps are often released in Britain and Europe that show Saint George and his dragon.
Whenever the Chinese year of the Dragon comes around, many different countries issue dragon stamps. The year 2000 was a dragon year, and dragon stamps were issued in China, Macau, U.S.A, Canada, Christmas Islands, Hong Kong and Japan.
For more information on dragons have a look at the library catalogue.
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The dragons of Europe were shown as looking different to the British Dragons. Generally they were Wyverns, a species of winged dragon with only two legs.
The smallest of all the different kinds of dragon, they ranged in size from that of a large dog to the size of a horse. Instead of scales their hides were covered in hair with markings. They had long, tapered tales that could be used like a whip. Their two legs had bird-like feet with claws. European Dragons have small but vicious teeth and their blood is poisonous.
European Dragons live in nests on the sides of mountains. They are not as aggressive as some dragons, but they have a nasty bite. Once they are captured they are easily tamed.
Descriptions of European Dragons very from country to country: for example French dragons are often female and can shape-shift into beautiful women. Some European Dragons are half-woman, half-dragon. Swiss Dragons are only found in the Alps and hibernate over winter.
For more information and books about dragons in the library have a look at this link.
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Chinese Dragons are the friendliest kind of dragon. In China they are known as “long.”
They live in lakes, pools or rivers, where they hibernate throughout the winter. They are responsible for bringing the rain. Although they have no wings they are able fly.
They are able to change their size, from incredibly small, to incredibly large. They can also shapeshift into people, animals and objects. They have a long, slender, snake-like body, with four legs and with five claws on each paw. Chinese dragons have hairy manes, with a beard and tufts of hair on the backs of their legs. They also have a long whisker on either side of their mouth.
They come in five different colours: red, white, black, yellow and blue/green. They have five large scales under their chin which lie in the opposite direction to the other scales. Each dragon has 117 scales: 81 can be used for good and 36 for bad.
Chinese dragons have incredibly sharp eyesight, but they are hard of hearing. They are often shown grasping or reaching for a pearl, which is a symbol of wisdom, good fortune and immortality.
Find out more:
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Three countries in the world have dragons on their national flags.
Wales: The dragon has been the symbol for Wales since the 800s, but the dragon was not put on the Welsh flag until 1959. The Welsh flag features a red dragon with wings, four legs and an arrow-shaped tail. The Welsh call their flag Y Draig Goch, which means “red dragon,” and the motto of Wales is “the red dragon advances.”
Bhutan: Bhutan is a country in the Eastern Himalayan Mountains. Bhutan means “land of the dragon.” Their flag features a white, Chinese-style dragon with a pearl clutched in each paw.
Malta: The Republic of Malta is a group of Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. You have to look closely at the Maltese flag to find the dragon. In the top left-hand corner is the George Cross, a medal awarded by the King of England for bravery. In the middle of the George Cross is an image of Saint George slaying his dragon. Malta was awarded the George Cross for helping the allies in World War II.
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British Dragons are what we most commonly think of when we think of how dragons look. They were often four-legged and winged, though sometimes they had only two legs.
Their wings had membranes, like bats’ wings. And British Dragons had scales that were so hard that no weapon could pierce them, but their stomachs were soft and vulnerable. Sometimes they could even rejoin severed body parts!
The most common colour of the dragons was green. Their legs were muscular and they had strong claws for picking up and carrying off cows and sheep.
The British dragons were very poisonous. They spat venom at their victims rather than injecting them with their fangs. Their blood was poisonous and would kill people on contact. Even their breath was poisonous and would kill people with its fumes. They also breathed fire.
They lived in caves near water. British dragons had a nasty temperament. Each dragon picked on one small town or village. They would burn down houses and crops. They were fond of milk. They would eat cows, sheep and even people!
The library has heaps of books about dragons. Check out the kids’ catalogue for more.
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Have you ever wished you could say “dragon” in Estonian? Or Finnish? Or Latin? Well here’s your chance. Here’s the word dragon in a whole lot of languages. If you’re interested in dragons, check out our kids’ catalogue for heaps of books, both fiction and non-fiction (if you love stories about dragons then check out our blog post here).
Read this book for more information!